Monday, June 9, 2008

friday rain, saturday pick-up, sunny monday!

I woke up Friday at 5:30am to a large thunderclap.  It was pouring out.  I donned my rain gear
 & trouped out to work.  It was wonderful.
We started harvesting spinach, as the rain came down in buckets overhead.  It was great
 because we won't have to move irrigation pipe around the fields-- nature was taking care of t
he watering!  And the thirsty plants were drinking up.  

Amazingly, two volunteers showed up to help us harvest-- Nancy & Judy, what troopers!  We picked bok choi, broccoli raab, & lettuce before heading in for a break b
ecause the lightning and thunder was starting to get scarily close.  What a harvest, though!The rain stopped by lunchtime, and we were thoroughly soaked but still smiling.After lunch it was time to harvest garlic scapes.  These are actually the flower buds that the garlic plant sends up... we pick them off at the base of their curly stems, so that more energy
 goes into the root storage of the plant, and we get bigger garlic bulbs!After the crazy morning in the rain, we were getting a little silly, racing eachother down the
 rows on our knees, Nick making up themesongs to an invented musical.Garlic scapes are delicious, and every bit as strong as the clove
s are... I ate one raw & tasted it in my mouth all day.  Very strong medicine!Saturday morning over a hundred folks came out to the farm to pick up their veggies.  Here's
 what was in today's share:

The fields are overflowing with abundance after that rain.  Monday morning I was sweating
 before 6am, as I moved the sheep fence to a new pasture.  We started harvesting the incredi
bly tender spinach, as the day heated up, and washed it & put it right into the cooler.  
The cabbage isn't ready, but doesn't it look amazing in this morning light?The turnips are definitely ready, pushing eachother around in their search for space.  
We need
 to thin them out to give some of them more room to grow.  So we harvest smaller turnips first, then larger turnips after they've got some room!We harvested huge beautiful bok choi, as it was starting to bolt because of the heat.  
Of course with the rain, there are also weeds coming up everywhere.  So we spent most of the
 day cultivating.  It was over 96 degrees and 40% humidity.  Farmers can't sit in the shade, they have to put on hats & bear the full strength of the sun.  We were drinking gallons of water & sweating it out faster than we could refill.  I gave the poor sheep the shade of an easy-up tent, as they panted under their wool.

We weeded all of the melons...  can you see the tiny weeds in this picture?  
Dave cultivated with the tractor, then we went in between the plants with our hands, brushing out the tiny weed seedlings.
In the brutal sun of the afternoon, Dave tractor-cultivated lots more beds-- leeks, herbs, beans.  We wheel-hoed in the rows of lettuce that had leaves too large to go over with the tractor.  I used the little rake to scrape out the weeds in between the leeks.  Nick hilled the potatoes with the other Cub tractor.   At the end of the day, we all looked about ready to faint... a quick dunk under the hose feels so good!
After the sun went down, Nick & I cultivated the 3 Sisters Garden.  I enjoy the hours of twilight when I don't have to wear my big straw hat, or shoes for that matter.  The corn is coming along really well-- we hilled it up a bit.  There are lots of clumps of sod, some which are trying to grow back.  And many, many rocks of course.  But it's exciting to think of what it will look like in a few months-- tall sunflowers & rambling bean vines hopefully!

No comments: